In case you missed it, last week 12 year-old Thomas Hurley III misspelled his final answer on Jeopardy. His spelling of Emancipation Proclamation was in error, as he had “Emanciptation Proclamation” in the response written on his magic blue screen. What ensued was a social media debate on whether spelling really matters anymore.
Proponents argue that proper spelling is a necessity as it lays the foundational to pronunciation, a key component to communication. Detractors say that spelling isn’t that big of a deal, so long as the overarching message is communicated – no harm, no foul.
My take: Spelling matters, to what degree is only in light of implications from the misspelling.
In Thomas’s case, it cost him $3,000. For a pharmacist, the cost could be much more severe. Either way, the bottom line is that details matter and can have negative consequences.
Where possible, barriers to valued communication should be eliminated. If spelling mistakes cause readers to think less about your brand or offering, then they matter. Such simple mistakes could cost you a sale, or could have long-term implications on brand trust… not to mention hinder your chances of winning Jeopardy.